“If approved, the bulk and scale of the substantially-larger Whitney mixed-use project will be incompatible with surrounding development and would substantially alter the existing character of the area,” said LJCPA trustee and architect Phil Merten.
Property owner Bob Whitney has submitted plans to the city to demolish two one-story buildings — home to La Jolla Kayak and a vacation rental at 2202 and 2206 Avenida de la Playa — to construct a three-story building with commercial space on the ground floor, two apartments above and an underground parking lot.
The footprint of the Whitney building, referred to as the floor area ratio, exceeds the largest building footprint in the Shores by 37 percent, Merten indicated.
The trustees believe the project’s environmental document — the draft mitigated negative declaration (MND) — is false because they say it wrongly states the project conforms to the aesthetics and character of the Shores in its bulk, scale, materials and scale.
The LJCPA has called on the city’s Development Services Department to rewrite the draft MND to reflect inconsistencies of the project with the Shores’ design guidelines.
“The proposed design violates every tenet of the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance and La Jolla Shores Design Manual regarding ‘bulk and scale,’” states a letter from the LJCPA to the city.
The La Jolla Shores Advisory Board will make a recommendation on the Whitney project on Tuesday, April 20. A hearing officer will ultimately decide on the project, possibly in May, and the decision is appealable to the Planning Commission.
Meanwhile, the community is attempting to rewrite the Shores’ manual for development — known as the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance (LJSPDO) — to make the document more specific. The “Visions” Committee for the LJSPDO met Wednesday, April 7.